Flowers offered to Shiv ji:
During recent visit to Chhattisgarh forest I took this picture. Hibiscus and Datura flowers with Marigold were offered to Shiv ji.
   I was told that Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is Devi Phool offered to The Goddess only not to Shiv ji. But there is difference in opinion. … can throw more light on it.
   In year 2007 I observed it during survey. Please see second picture titled “Bhorum one”

– Actually in Maharashtra this is offered to Lord Ganapati. Shiva for calmness is offered with white flower.

– In Mumbai, we offer the red hibiscus flowers to Lord Ganesha.  We offer Shiva, the Datura fruits and the leaves and fruits of  Bael tree (Aegle marmelos)

– In general toxic flowers and other plant parts are offered to Shiv ji but now trend is changing. In my state toxic Gloriosa flowers are offered to Ganesh ji. Similarly many exotic species have taken place in Pooja. For example you can see Bougainvillea flowers on Shiv ji in second picture.
   Many years back during visit to Jabalpur region I found Parthenium flowers in Ram temple. They were calling Parthenium as Ram Phool only because Parthenium is omnipresent like Bhagvan Ram. When I informed them about its allergy causing pollens and trichomes they corrected the error.
   As .. is saying there is need to report this changing pattern once again.

– these are not changing trends. People just tend to link and they just put any flower. You know this holy festival of Chatt celebrated by people in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. It is supposed to be the most sacred festival of Hindus
where people offer prayers to sun god firstly during the sunset and then next day on sunrise in lakes or rivers while taking holy dip. Now people who are too lazy to go to pond, or may be find the pond too dirty, or may be cant even find a pond, they dig a ditch, fill with some water, which might not even be enough to reach your waist and offer prayers.
Trust me, the most surprising thing I have even know is people doing prayers standing in water tanks!!! All these are just for the sake of convenience. But my mom still goes to the lake in our town!!

– This reminds me of the ‘Phul gulli’ or flower market near Dadar Railway station in Mumbai. My work regularly takes me to this area and I brave the crowds and slush just to see the variety of flowers!
   Last year I noticed a large quantity of Nerium flowers, especially the petals, used to make garlands. This was a surprise since i do not recollect Nerium as a puja flower.
   Another change was, Tabernaemontana half opened flowers (a hybrid variety) sold as ‘mogra buds’. In the market rush and all ‘fragrances’ the diff is not easily noticed. However the buyer soon realises the mistake.

– they say, what you offer with full respect and belief is always accepted by god!!! so don’t worry about the species of flower!!

– But still the phenomenon of “Plants and Religion” exists and will exist.
   To continue the discussion I am forwarding another picture where people offered Ark (Calotropis) leaves to Hanuman ji. In general Ark is associated with Shiv ji according to Hindu Mythology.